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PREVIEW: Chicago Steel vs. Youngstown Phantoms

04/10/2017, 11:45am CDT
By USHL

EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS MATCHUP BETWEEN THE CHICAGO STEEL AND THE YOUNGSTOWN PHANTOMS.

 

Overall Record

Chicago: 38-17-2-3, 81 points

Youngstown: 34-20-5-1, 74 points

 

Home Record

Chicago: 20-8-0-2

Youngstown: 17-11-2-0

 

Road Record

Chicago: 18-9-2-1

Youngstown: 17-9-3-1

 

Head-to-Head

Youngstown won season series 3-2

  • October 30, 2016: Youngstown 3, Chicago 2
  • December 2, 2016: Chicago 2, Youngstown 1
  • February 3, 2017: Youngstown 4, Chicago 3
  • February 4, 2017: Youngstown 5, Chicago 1
  • March 26, 2017: Chicago 4, Youngstown 1

 

Record in last 10 games

Chicago: 5-5-0-0

Youngstown: 5-4-1-0

 

Leading Scorer

Chicago: Reggie Lutz, 47 points (24G, 23A)

Youngstown: Nicolas Werbik, 39 points (18G, 21A)

 

Leading Rookie

Chicago: Tyler Gratton, 22 points (10G, 12A)

Youngstown: Curtis Hall (7G, 14A) and Michael Karow (4G, 17A), 21 points each

 

Leading Defenseman

Chicago: Graham Lillibridge, 28 points (4G, 24A)

Youngstown: Alec Mahalak, 23 points (5G, 18A)

 

Leading Goaltender

Chicago: Ales Stezka, 22-10-1-2, 2.28 GAA, .916 SV%, 4 shutouts

Youngstown: Ivan Kulbakov, 30-16-4-1, 1.93 GAA, .919 SV%, 5 shutouts

 

Power Play

Chicago: 16.0% (4th in East, 8th overall)

Youngstown: 14.6% (6th in East, 11th overall)

 

Penalty Kill

Chicago: 90.3% (1st in East, 1st overall)

Youngstown: 87.6% (2nd in East, 3rd overall)

 

NHL Draft Picks

Chicago: Ales Stezka (Minnesota Wild)

Youngstown: Steven Ruggiero (Anaheim Ducks)

 

NHL Central Scouting Ranked Players

Chicago: Dayton Rasmussen (6), 17-16-0-2, 2.45 GAA, .912 SV%; Ben Miraegeas (63), 19 points (2G, 17A); Brannon McManus (191), 38 points (18G, 20A)

Youngstown: Michael Karow (109), 21 points (4G, 17A)

 

Storylines

  • Youngstown was the team that ended Chicago's season-opening 10 game winning streak on Oct. 30 with a 3-2 win
  • Both teams are looking for their first Clark Cup title in club history.
  • Chicago has earned a spot in the Clark Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2008, while Youngstown is back in the postseason for the first time 2015, a season in which the Phantoms captured the Anderson Cup.
  • Both teams penalty killing units have been outstanding this season. Chicago leads the USHL with a 90.3% conversion rate on the kill. Youngstown is third in the league at 87.6%
  • Both teams have scored by committee all season long. Neither team has a player who scored over 50 points in the regular season.
  • Chicago offense, which is third in the league in goals for (196), will face a tough task against Phantoms goaltender Ivan Kulbakov, who is second in the USHL 1.93 GAA and tied for fifth with a .919 SV%. Kulbakov is also tied for the league lead in shutouts with 5.
  • Team defense has been the hallmark for both the Steel and the Phantoms. Youngstown only allowed 135 goals in the regular season, first in the Eastern Conference and second among all USHL teams. Chicago is second in the Eastern Conference and third in the USHL with only 144 goals allowed.

 

2017 CLARK CUP HUB

 

Tag(s): Top Story